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Car Of The Month :
March 2014

'Don’t Tilly-Tally Around' by fredwrussell

My story begins about two years ago; I really needed to replace my Volvo T5 with something more economical as I just couldn’t afford to run it. After a couple of old bangers, namely a Renault Clio 1.2 auto followed by a Peugeot 206 that did nothing but cost me a fortune, a very kind man named Mike introduced me to the Rover 75.

I’d always been a “never a Rover” man foolishly believing the general public’s opinion, especially the oft voiced failing head gasket fallacy; my first experience soon changed all of that. Mike bought “Goldielocks”, now my Rover 75 Connoisseur SE Cdt, an early car with most of the “bells and whistles”. Feeling that it lacked a little bit in the power department a visit to Big Russ for the 160 remap made that no longer an issue!

After a long time enjoying the Cdt and thoughts of wanting a tow bar Mike found a 54 plate Ignition Blue 2005 MG ZT-T, a project that Jules hadn’t had time to complete, I took it for a spin and my first impression was wow; how much sharper the ZT’s were compared to the 75.

On to “Tilly” my ZT190+ found online by Mike, he’s always browsing the internet to see what’s available. Mike showed me the pictures of this lovely looking MG ZT190+ fully loaded with DVD player, satellite navigation and fitted with a rather nice red interior. As it was for sale locally we set supposedly just to have a look. Looking around the car drooling, whilst at the same time assessing what required attention, I noticed the badge on the boot lid; XPOWER200.

Never having heard of an XPOWER200 we returned home to do some research, wondering if it was just a badge someone had put on the car. The discovery we made was that the badge was indeed original and the car had been seen frequently during the early months of 2002 when used by Kevin Howe the then Chief Executive of MG Rover.

Further research revealed that “Tilly” was formerly registered 7155MG and was indeed the former CEO’s car. It was also learnt from the production records it had left the line on the 5th February 2002 as an entry level ZT190 fitted with blue and yellow Matrix seating. There’s an assumption that MG Rover must have substantially reworked it into an SE, upgrading the seating to electric memory red alcantara/ash grey, monogram dash, “A” pillar airbags and factory DVD player, prior to registration fifteen days later.

Despite not being a fan of the ZT, preferring the ride and refinement of the 75, Mike ever the enthusiast bought the car rather than letting it fall into the hands of someone that would not appreciate her.

Mike then spent a few pounds getting her just right then advertised her for sale on the forum. I felt rather sick about this as I didn’t want her to leave our combined fleet, after discussions with my partner negotiations took place and we have kept her.

The plan is to use her as my dry weekend drive, but initially I couldn’t resist the urge to drive her for a few days, show her off and truly feel the king of the road. She will now be my car for shows and events such as Pride of Longbridge 2014.

I’m now looking for a ZT diesel to use as a daily runner.

Article written by member fredwrussell

The Rover 75 & MG ZT Owners Club Ltd 2006-2023